The NE winds were forecast to be quite significant today but it still looked doable so MacKenzie launch was quite crowded by 2pm. No cu development we could see from launch (although later on we would see some in the backcountry) and clear blue skies meant it was clearly outflow aloft.
|You can see the lennies forming in the distance.|
Thermals were rather strong but smooth up high, and we were getting to 2800m easily. At this altitude my GPS was reading 25kph of NE wind and we could now see lenticular-type clouds forming in the interior...there was certainly a lot of wind about! And it was funneling through every valley that had a north or east orientation: it was funneling through from just behind Barbour Mountain, and it was really squeezing through at Hurley Pass!
In fact at Hurley Pass I decided I'd had enough of the strong NE winds, so the next thermal I took drifted me into the Pemberton valley (like all the others) and I let it. In fact I drifted all the way over to Camel's Hump and the east side of the valley.
|Thermal-frisbeeing over to the east side of the valley.|
Because the MacKenzie side had produced much higher lift earlier in the flight (albeit very rough), I decided to glide back to launch and try to get the altitudes I had been getting before, in order to make the glide to Currie. But now those of us below the ridgetop had a hard time breaking through 1600m...I ended up going after getting to 1800m, while those who had returned from Goat Pk etc and stayed high had a much nicer glide over to Currie. I had terrible sink on the way over, 2-3m/s for a large part of it, and arrived on the slopes of Currie too low to make it work, and ended up landing at the airport. But Andrew and Peter left from higher (2300m?) and were able to make it work.
|Icefields on the east side of the valley.|